Published by Grove Press on 10 June 2007
Genres: Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
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Place(s) Traveled to: California
First Line: Please state your name.
I picked this book up at the bookstore recently because I thought that it had an interesting premise: a teddy bear that comes to life and finds itself on the wrong side of the war on terror. The idea brought to mind times when as a child I used to wonder if any of my dolls or bears ever came to life when I wasn’t around.
In this book a stuffed bear who after years of neglect is miraculously gifted with life. Winkie then goes out into the world, experiencing its ups and downs for the first time. When he is suddenly surrounded and accused of being a mad bomber. What follows is an overly long and drawn out trial interspersed with memories of Winkie’s past. How he started as a bear named Marie and belonged to a girl named Ruth. How she passed to Ruth’s children and was eventually renamed Winkie and became a he.
This book serves to highlight in an often humorous (and sometimes tedious) way just how ridiculous the justice system in America can be. Especially when it comes to people who are accused of terrorist acts. When the word terrorist is used it almost seems as if any atrocity can be used against the person and people turn a blind eye because it is all in the name of justice.
There were times when I found this book very moving and times in which I wondered if I would ever finish it. Overall though this isn’t a bad debut novel and it will be interesting to see what Chase comes up with next.
In Short: An interesting if not overly memorable read.